More superfast broadband for Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire are working together as a Connected Counties and the phase I BDUK roll-out has completed and the phase II roll-out is underway in Hertfordshire and should start delivering in volume to push the two counties towards a goal of 95% superfast coverage in 12 months time.
The news today is that there is some £800,000 to £860,000 of money that is going to allow an additional 2,500 premises to be added to the roll-out specifically in Buckinghamshire. ISPreview spotted the extra build first and we've been a bit slower as we wanted to do a sweep to ensure we were not missed anything exciting in terms of delivered broadband across Buckinghamshire.
What is interesting is when you go hunting for more information we can find more on the Wycombe District Council website, but this confusingly talks of investment for 4,500 premises in Wycombe as part of a 12,500 premise roll-out across the county. We believe that this may be a figure that is combining some of the new roll-out and the phase II work. So a little like the confusion that makes the public angry when coverage figures talk about fibre with no clear definiton of what baseline speed is implied it is no surprise that people are confused about what is being delivered.
What we can say is 2,500 additional superfast premises in Buckinghamshire will add 1 to 1.2% to the overall superfast figure and our knowledge of the existing coverage and premise counts for Buckinghamshire and its district councils is set out below (remember Milton Keynes is working with Central Bedfordshire and Luton in their own roll-outs).
|thinkbroadband analysis of broadband coverage across Buckinghamshire and its District Councils|
figures 20th June 2017
|Area||% fibre based||% superfast|
24 Mbps or faster
30 Mbps or faster
100 Mbps or faster
|% Virgin Media Cable||% Openreach FTTP||% Under 2 Mbps USC||% Under proposed 10 Mbps USO|
|Buckinghamshire County Council||95%||91%||90.2%||35.7%||33.2%||0.19%||0.7%||4%|
|Aylesbury Vale District Council||92.8%||88.6%||88%||44.2%||37.4%||0.49%||1.1%||6%|
|Chiltern District Council||96.3%||93.6%||92.8%||49.2%||49.2%||0%||0.4%||2.4%|
|South Bucks District Council||95.2%||89.6%||88.5%||25.1%||25.1%||0%||0.7%||2.1%|
|Wycombe District Council||96.7%||92.7%||91.8%||23.3%||23.3%||0%||0.6%||3.4%|
So with the premise counts its easy to judge what difference an extra 2,500 premises will make and the phase II project. The big unknown now is how much more recycling can the gain share clause trigger and add to the roll-outs and therefore take things closer to the magic 100%.
As with other projects it is unfortunately a waiting game to find out where roll-outs will be going and what will be delivered, our sweep of the county showed that there are still some exchanges with a central core of exchange only line ripe for upgrade, and outlying clusters that would benefit from infill VDSL2 cabinets to pull them up to superfast speeds. Fingers crossed as the phase II and extensions progress there will also be more of the fashionable full fibre service rolled out.
Update 21st June 2017 To make sure that confusion over premises and funding are reduced we have received the following breakdown on the phase II and clawback roll-outs.
Phase II funding comprises
- £100,000 from Chiltern District Council
- £860,000 from Wycombe District Council
- £400,000 from Aylesbury Vale District Council
- £675,000 from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP
- Match funding from BDUK of £2,035,000
This is intended to benefit 12,500 premises, so 5 to 6% of the county. Subsequent to the 2,500 in addition there is via claw-back (gain share) some £399,000 from Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP and £469,000 from Buckinghamshire County Council i.e. the benefits from the levels of take-up in the phase I project area. The combined effect of this funding is that we may be looking at 96% to 97% superfast coverage at over 24 Mbps once work has completed and if the delivery is directed to the right areas could all but eradicate the 4% of premises under 10 Mbps ahead of the actual launch of the Universal Service Obligation.